Interview: Amaan-Ayaan interpret Qawwali

Sarod stars Amaan Ali and Ayaan Ali Khan represent the seventh generation of their father Ustad Amjad Ali Khan’s musical legacy known as the Senia Bangash School. The duo recently launched Rang – Colors of Sufism, an album that consists of Qawwali interpretations. IBNS correspondent Sreya Basu in conversation with the youth icons

Tell us more about Rang – Colors of Sufism.

Amaan: It is our interpretation of timeless Qawwalis blending the pieces with Sufi music. My brother and I have always tried combining different Indian art forms that can come together to create something extraordinary.

Ayaan: It’s our interpretations of traditional Qawwalis on the sarod along with singing the Qawwalis in our distinct style. The Qawwalis have been performed in authentic style by Sultan Niyazi and party. This confluence of Sufi singing and the sonorous sound of the sarod will surely be appreciated by listeners.

What made you take up Sufi music?

Amaan: We were always inclined to Sufi music. We wanted to take it to lounge space…already much work is being done on Sufi music on a broader scale. But we wanted to take it to lounge space and get rustic singers do justice to the music.

Are you happy the way the album has shaped up finally?

Amaan: Oh yes. It is a great feeling to launch our work with such love and appreciation.

Ayaan: This collaboration and our compilations are very special to us and I hope that everyone enjoys our most recent work. I would like to thank all the talented artists who have helped us put together the album.

Can you pick your favourites from the album?

Amaan: All tracks have been performed with all our hearts. Some of the tracks that listeners will definitely enjoy are Mann Kunto Maula, Aaj Rang Hai, Bahaut Din Beete, Main Nizaam, Zihale Miskin and Kaahe Ko Byaahe Bides.

Unlike other classical musicians, you two have your fingers in all possible pies-you are playing sarod, cutting albums, doing ads, walking the ramp, there are news about your debut in films-and also you two are style icons of today’s youths. Was this a conscious endeavor? 

Amaan: It is the love and blessing of the people that they have accepted us in whatever we do. Both Ayaan and Amaan consider ourselves lucky that we get so much love and support from people.

Once Amaan said he wants to popularize sarod among youngsters. How will you do that?

Amaan: I just want to tell the youngsters that sarod is the easiest and the most beautiful of all instruments around. If one really wants to learn playing an instrument, then, sarod is the one for you. And if you have any problem playing sarod, come to us and we will give you all the tips (smiles).

Ayaan: When you listen to sarod, there’s nothing to understanda-just appreciate and enjoy it. Sarod refreshes your mind, body and soul.

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